We’re all living in bubbles.
A lesson I’ve learned over and over again, both in business and in life, is that most people really don’t care about the things that I do.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget this. When you hang out mostly with your peers (‘hang out’, in this case, meaning anything from the media you consume to the people you spend time with to the hobbies you pursue and the causes you get involved with), it’s so easy, not to mention satisfying, to get lost in talking shop.
- As designers, we take it for granted that bad kerning and Comic Sans are sinful and that colour and type convey meaning.
- As developers, we take it for granted that IE<9 is The Worst, web standards are important, and that code should be semantic and reusable as possible.
- As privileged people, we take it for granted that self-improvement and following our dreams are among the most pressing needs in our lives.
When you’re active in any community, it’s really important to keep in mind that you’re in a bubble and that most of the world doesn’t think like you and doesn’t care about the details that you find really fascinating.
Now, don’t get me wrong; it’s really fun being in a bubble of peers! It’s nice and comfy in that place where most people will agree with your opinions and share your grievances. There’s a lot to be learned from people similar to you, and surrounding yourself with peers can really deepen your knowledge on a given subject.
But for a lot of us, a large part of our audience exists far outside our bubbles. Or maybe they share a bubble or two with us, but certainly not all of them. For business owners especially, people come to us because we have an expertise that they don’t. If people cared about the details that we did, they most likely wouldn’t need our services.
Reminding myself that I’m living inside a few bubbles of my own helps me better communicate the value of what I do to other people. Trust me, I’ve been in conversations where I see people’s eyes glazing over as I talk about my work. Tragic! But, really, if that’s happening, it’s partially my fault. The world belongs to those who know how to frame the importance of their offerings to people both inside and outside of their niche, and not necessarily to those who are the best at their craft. No, the world’s sadly not purely a meritocracy, but when you get communication and skill together… then the magic really happens.